Chris Kluwe released by Vikings; tweets goodbyes

The writing on the wall has become the reality for Chris Kluwe.

On Monday, the Vikings’ longtime punter announced on his Twitter account that he’s been released, issuing his goodbyes to fans, teammates, ownership, and even fish.

Kluwe’s release became an inevitability when Minnesota burned a mid-round draft pick on punter Jeff Locke, who represents a younger, cheaper, and potentially better alternative. His tweet shortly after the Locke selection confirmed as much.

Also not working in Kluwe’s favor was his outspoken nature and highly-publicized support for same-sex marriage rights. A proud activist (and soon-to-be author), Kluwe, 31, said it’s nonsensical that he’d be held accountable for an interest that doesn’t conflict with his job.

“When I’m at the facility, I’m concentrating 100 percent on my job because that’s what I’m being paid to do,” Kluwe said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But when I’m away from the facility, I’m no longer at my job. I get to live my life. This idea that you have to spend 24 hours a day thinking about your job frankly is unhealthy. It’s insane.”

The Vikings surely wouldn’t admit they cut Kluwe because of his same-sex views; this move, like most in the NFL, boiled down to money. His $1.4 million salary presumably was too high for a punter that finished in the bottom half in net punting average last season.

(Photo credit: Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).
  • pat stanton

    One of the best punters Vikings have ever had… Hope another team picks him up for this season…. Thank’s Chris Kluwe, I appreciated the story you shared with everyone about your grandfather and how he could tell the change in weather,, I knew a few people like that myself…. Have a great life…..

  • dolores tritle

    I have been a vikings fan since 1958 & I have seen them do some pretty dumb stuff, but releasing Chris for a younger punter is the dumbest one of all. His views on same-sex marriage is of no concern of the coaches or anybody else. He did his job when it came to football & that is what should matter. I was born & raised in Seattle,wa. but the Vikings have always been my team. I hope one day to watch them play in person when they come to Seattle to play the Seahawks. Hope you get picked up by another team soon. Good Luck